Targets, Touches & TDs: Week 12

Targets, Touches & TDs: Week 12


Targets, Touches & TDs: Week 12

Counting down the fantasy numbers of note entering the 12th week of the NFL season.

144 – Career-high receiving yards Sunday night for Colts’ tight end Coby Fleener who caught all seven of his targets in the team’s 42-20 home loss to the Patriots. It was the second-highest yardage output by any TE all season – trailing Rob Gronkowski’s 149 yards against the Bears in Week 8 – and only the second career 100-yard receiving game for the 2012 second-round pick who became Andre Luck’s No. 1 TE target Sunday night after Dwayne Allen departed early in the game with an ankle injury. It was enough to boost Fleener to 11th place in the season fantasy TE rankings as he now has 29 receptions for 439 yards and four touchdowns – good for 67.9 standard-scoring fantasy points. Allen (26-374-7) remains three spots ahead in the season ranks with 79.4 points, but if he is to miss any significant amount of time, Fleener will be a must-add and strong start as only the New England TEs have outscored Indy’s in fantasy so far this season.

64 – Targets this season for Redskins wide receiver Pierre Garcon through 10 games. Garcon averaged nearly twice the number of targets (11.3 per game) a season ago when he paced the NFL with 182 and finished with a league-high 113 receptions for 1,346 yards and five TDs. This season, he has a rather modest 43 catches for 464 yards and three scores and ranks second on the team in targets, trailing DeSean Jackson’s 67. Digging even deeper into the D.C. target numbers, Garcon accounted for 30.3 percent of the team’s total targets a season ago – a figure which trailed only the Bucs’ Vincent Jackson (32.3 percent), the Niners’ Anquan Boldin (31.4) and the Bengals’ A.J. Green (30.8) among the league’s top wideouts – and was one of only two Washington players to garner 10 percent or more of the team’s targets with WR Santana Moss (13.2) being the other. This season, however, has been a different story as four D.C. players have joined Garcon (18.7) above the 10-percent target threshold, led by Jackson (19.6) and rounded out by fellow new WR Andre Roberts (15.5), TE Niles Paul (12.9) and RB Roy Helu (10.5). Garcon looked like he was going to pick up where he left off, catching 22 of his 32 targets for 227 yards and a TD over his first three games this season, but he’s trailed off rather dramatically over his last seven games (21-237-2 on 21 targets) with the upgraded pass-catching corps settling in in Washington.

52.5 – Standard-scoring fantasy points for Eagles’ rookie receiver Jordan Matthews who has caught 15 passes for 285 yards and four of his six TDs over the last three games. That point total ranks only behind the 75.8 fantasy points put up by fellow rookie Mike Evans of Tampa among WRs during that span and also coincides with Mark Sanchez’s elevation to the starting QB position in Philly. Specifically, Matthews has been targeted 20 times by Sanchez and has 14 receptions for 280 yards and the four scores. By comparison, No. 1 WR Jeremy Maclin has caught 16 of his 22 targets from Sanchez for 219 yards and two TDs.

17.9 – Average current rank for the first five defensive/special teams units selected in fantasy drafts this summer. The Seahawks, the near-consensus top D/ST pick, stood 25th in the rankings after Sunday’s action, and the rest of ADP top five consists of the 49ers (currently 9th), Panthers (tied for 14th), Rams (21st) and Broncos (20th). On the flip side, the average ADP of the current top five fantasy defenses was 16.8 with the top-ranked Eagles selected 19th, on average, this summer, followed by the Packers (ADP of 16), Dolphins (25), Bills (14) and Texans (10). In summary, nothing new here. It’s much the same story every season when it comes to fantasy defenses, but there’s seemingly always a GM in every league who needed to learn the lesson after reaching for the previous season’s No. 1 defense with that 10th-round pick.

10 – Total rushing touchdowns in Week 11, through Sunday’s games. The Patriots’ Jonas Gray, of course, accounted for 40 percent of them in the Sunday-night win in Indy, while the Chiefs notched three with Jamaal Charles scoring twice and backup Knile Davis once. The Pack’s Eddie Lacy also found the end zone Sunday afternoon, while Bishop Sankey and Le’Veon Bell matched rushing scores Monday. Meanwhile, there were 40 receiving TDs, two interception-return scores and a fumble and punt brought back for touchdowns in the week’s 14 games. The paltry ground output is certainly lower than the typical week but is still emblematic of the league’s overall trend. Through Monday, there has been an average of 1.47 rushing touchdowns per game this season, which would mark the lowest per-game season average since the 1970 merger aside from 1993 (1.33) and 1999 (1.46). Meanwhile, the average of receiving TDs per game is sitting at a post-merger high of 3.35, well ahead of last season’s 3.14 pace. Keep that general notion in mind as a tiebreaker the next time you’re choosing between a RB and a WR for that flex starting spot in your lineup.

6 – Rookie wide receivers who currently project as starters – i.e. ranked among the top 30, factoring in the flex – in standard 12-team leagues. The precocious half-dozen are Kelvin Benjamin, Evans, Sammy Watkins, Matthews, Brandin Cooks and Allen Hurns and number two more than the projected rookie starters at the other four positions combined. Three RBs – Jeremy Hill, Branden Oliver and Isaiah Crowell – rank among the top-30 fantasy backs, while Philly’s Cody Parkey is the fourth-ranked kicker. Meanwhile, there are no first-year players ranked among the top-15 QBs or TEs, with Derek Carr (22nd) and Jace Amaro (21st) the closest, respectively.

5 – More rushing TDs than passing scores for the Chiefs through 10 games this season. K.C. is one of four teams in the league with a ground-tilted ratio – joining the Vikings (9-7), Browns (12-11) and Seaahwks (14-13) – but easily owns the largest disparity in the league. Only the Texans (285) have attempted fewer passes the Chiefs’ 291,  only the Jets (1,785) have thrown for fewer yards than K.C.’s 1,868 and only the Vikings (7) and Jets (10) have fewer TD throws. No surprise, then, that the Chiefs remain only team in the league without a touchdown pass to a wide receiver.

0 – Rushing TDs for Robert Griffin III in 17 games over the last two seasons. RGIII, if you recall, had seven rushing scores as part of his 815-yard outburst on 120 carries in 15 games as a rookie in 2012, but he’s had 578 yards on 104 rushes in the 17 games since his off-season knee surgery in early 2013. In that same span, Griffin has averaged exactly 20 more passing yards (233.3-213.3) per game than his rookie year, but that’s been offset by his 20-yard-per-contest rushing decline (54.3-34) and his slight TD-pass dip (1.3 per game in 2012 to 1.1 in 2013/14). And it’s primarily why Griffin is averaging five fewer fantasy points per game (24.3-19.3) than he did as a rookie.

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